New cafe-bar suggested for village park

Last orders: The former Gate Inn pub, Pilley, is across the road from the site of a proposed new cafe-bar.
Last orders: The former Gate Inn pub, Pilley, is across the road from the site of a proposed new cafe-bar.
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A new bar could be built in a village which has lost both its pub and working men’s club in recent years, if plans devised by a resident move forwards and are accepted by Barnsley Council.

John Thornton wants to create a new cafe and bar in Pilley Pocket Park, which is owned by Barnsley Council, and would look to renting the site from the local authority.

Any such development would see a return of a public bar for the first time since the Wharncliffe Silkstone Club and Reading Rooms – which dated from the era of the Wharncliffe Silkstone colliery – closed several years ago.

The Gate Inn pub, across the road from the pocket park in Chapel Road, closed prior to that and all that remains now is part of the building, with much of the site redeveloped for housing.

Mr Thornton, who lives in the village, has already approached Tankersley Parish Council with details of his plan and their records show he is intending to submit a planning application to Barnsley Council.

First he intends to distribute a newsletter in the area, outlining his plans.

A previous application, which would have seen a pub go up on the site of an old bowling green, never progressed because of issues raised by planners.

If the development went ahead, it would be another in the chain of new style bars which have been springing up across the town in recent years.

The so-called ‘micro-pubs’ are smaller than traditional pubs and have found a new customer base in both villages and larger communities in many parts of the town, with several a short distance away in Hoyland Common and Hoyland.